Yesterday, walking in Galiano’s Heritage Forest, my eye was drawn to the shapes of the trees— the shapes that will soon be hidden by the profusion of leaves.
Mixed with the evergreens are are are several willow trees of varying kinds, along the main path. They’ve been there, as their size indicates, for years and years, but it wasn’t til yesterday that the light caught them in a certain way, and I ’noticed’ them. They are, to me, absolutely beautiful— the stature of the tree as a whole, and the detail of the slender curves…
I will likely post several more photos of these and other trees in the days ahead, either here or on my Curious Spectacles Facebook page which you can find here.
Maybe because we’ve waited so long for spring this year, or maybe its just that these wonders are more precious with each passing year, but surely the delicate beauty of the huckleberry buds opening has never been quite so breathtakingly beautiful to me.
The colours are muted and soft along the Heritage Forest Road, and the ground is rock hard, frozen solid. It may look like there’s little life in the landscape, that it everything is ‘dead’. Dull. How far from the truth!
As we walked the road what struck me was how many signals there were that even in the quiet stillness of winter, and its apparent barrenness, there is a pulsing vitality to the season: the creeks burble beneath a skim of ice, lichens hang conspicuously from limbs all round, colourful slime molds are ‘there’ for the observant eye as are various fascinating fungi; winter birds— wrens, sparrows, nuthatches, chickadees and towhees flit amongst the low shrubs while the finches and others occupy the higher branches; the deer meander and graze undisturbed. Surely the forest pulses with life as much in winter as any season.
I wonder if maybe the forest and its creatures enjoy the relative quiet. Maybe its their ‘sabbath’.
The days begin with a walk to Flagpole Point before breakfast.
In part it is a necessity, to walk the dog, but equally important is that this outing provides me a chance to appreciate the uniqueness of each morning. Though it is the same place, the variation is infinite: light, colour and texture in differing combinations.
The rising sun’s position is constantly shifting with the seasons, tides varying with moon-phase, wind and weather, clouds, fog, rain, or clear… Add to this, the cast of birds and small animals. I never know just what the morning jaunt will offer: kingfishers, herons, otters, harlequins, eagles, mink, seals…
It has long been my habit to record these first glimpses of the day there with a few photos, usually just on my iPhone, but sometimes with my ‘big’ camera. Recently it occurred to me to share some of my morning glimpses with others, so I created a Flickr Album Mornings at Flagpole Point which you can view here.
My aim is to post one a day. Sometimes, like yesterday when we had a power outage I couldn’t post. There are bound to be other missed days here and there, but mostly it’ll be a daily photo.
Thanks so much for enjoying these glimpses of the world with me.
Walking on the island’s shores is like walking in a gallery filled with sculptures masterfully wrought and generously offered for all to enjoy. Here are a few glimpses of yesterday’s meandering through the gallery.
What can be found in the deserts of the Negev, in Antarctica, the Isle of Skye, Germany, India…and Galiano Island?
Here on Galiano Island our coast is predominantly sandstone, and features amazing tafoni from north to south. In all its spectacular shapes, hollows, lacework and lattice, it provides endless fascination as the light plays on it, highlighting its contours and patterns. The photo here (above) was taken on our own flagpole point, and I’ve included a gallery below with several other photos I’ve posted over the past while.
At first when I noticed one of my roses nodding its head, I was disappointed to miss seeing the glory of it’s opening blossom, but after a closer look, it occurred to me that perhaps it was a good gift that the rose was offering: the display of the detail and texture of its oft ignored side.
The gentle curve, the delicate shading of the petals, the texture of the sepals with their furred edge… I wouldn’t have noticed had I been distracted by a more ordinary perspective. This other side of the rose was intriguing, and stunning in its simple beauty.
Have you been similarly surprised by the beauty of looking at something from a different angle?
During my school days, our Headmistress would often urge us to notice what’s around us saying, ‘Even the thorn bush by the wayside is ablaze with the glory of God.’ I’ve come to appreciate over the years that she was absolutely right.
Today I was reminded of this as I saw, not a ‘thorn bush’ but an ordinary drainage ditch, ‘blazing’ with beauty: colour, texture and pattern.
I have intentionally adjusted the photo above with texture and colour as I contemplated the beauty on display. The red colours in the weeds to the right were actually there, and brighter. I’ve muted them so as not to ‘take over’ the image as a whole. It’s the raindrop circles that particularly entranced me— the way they refracted and reflected the light.
glimpses of the extraordinary amidst an ordinary day